cleaning the pantry

Sometimes we need help even if we don’t think we do.


July 15, 2016 – There comes a time in everyone’s life when help is needed – not just during a period of caregiving – but after the caregiving is over, the caregiver is often alone – or almost alone. Whether he or she realizes that, very often a large amount of time, even years, have disappeared. Following the demise of the cared-for loved one, the spouse left behind begins to realize that during the long period of caregiving, the loving service has taken an enormous bite out of his/her life.


Not only has time and age crept up on the unsuspecting former caregiver, but strength and energy in addition to the loss of muscle mass have left the once-energetic caregiver in need of help. A while ago I wrote about having my kitchen back so that I could arrange it for my needs. I’ve also found that if there are no volunteers, then you must ask for the needed help.


There’s more to a clean and organized kitchen than just the cutlery drawers. Recently my daughter Debbie spent some time with me. She and her daughter Kristina, who lives with me and has for a few years, thought it would be a good idea to clean out and arrange my pantry which has needed to be done for some time. Cleaning out my cutlery drawer was a small duty I had done in one day. I didn’t have much left in the department of energy to clean out the pantry.

The disadvantage of their combined efforts was that it was rearranged according to how it would suit Debbie. With all things accomplished, and they did a fine job, I found it difficult to find what I needed in the neat, organized storage area. I am so grateful for their effort. I do, however, have to search for wanted items. How can I make oatmeal cookies when I couldn’t find the oatmeal?

Ken’s former caregivers prepared oatmeal each morning for Ken, and now I couldn’t find it. So, in my effort to make up a batch of cookie dough I moved items around: from here to there, and often back again. In doing, I found myself putting most of the contents of the pantry back in the approximate area where they had always been.


I do appreciate these two women for their caring effort to do a job that needed to be done – and it is done. Then because the pantry was already cleaned, it was easy for me to readjust the canned goods, the boxed crackers, and the packaged bags of beans and pastas back to where I could find them.

So in my appreciation for their hard work, I can sincerely say, “thank you” dear ones. Now that the hard work is done I can keep it organized.

Meanwhile, I’ll look around to see what else needs to be cleaned and organized. It’s all a part of downsizing – something that all seniors should be doing. And it goes along with accepting help, even if you don’t think you need it. And when it’s needed, don’t be shy about asking.

Originally posted 2016-07-17 01:03:40.

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